Ten Ways I'm Making My Semester A Great One

10 Ways I'm Going To Make Sure My Spring Semester Is Successful

I want to have a great spring semester, so I'm taking some steps to ensure I get there.

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Now that I'm approaching my second semester of college, I want to make it better than the fall. My transition during my first semester was rough and I found myself slipping into a depressive episode by the end. These are the steps I'm going to implement into my daily routine to keep myself healthy and happy this semester.

1. Keep a sound sleep schedule.

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As a college student, this seems like wishful thinking. However, I know I function better in the morning and have never been able to stay up until the early morning doing work. Because of this and the fact that I have morning classes all week, I'm going to try to maintain a schedule, as much as I can. This includes sleeping at the same time every night and waking up at the same time.

2. Follow a consistent morning routine.

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The morning is my favorite time of day and I want to optimize it so that I start off the day feeling put together and happy. My routine includes eating breakfast, meditating, and checking my planner for the day. Becoming more consistent with these steps will give me the most benefit throughout the day.

3. Journal almost every night.

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Journaling is my favorite thing to do when I have a lot on my mind at night. Getting it all out on a piece of paper is relaxing and so helpful in relieving anxiety and stopping me from overthinking. I follow this up with a daily gratitude practice which I have previously written an article on.

4. Eating healthy and keeping a workout routine.

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Diet and exercise are two of the most important things I can do for myself. Making better decisions in the dining hall makes me feel fueled and ready to go, as well as scheduling in a daily stint at the gym to relieve stress and build strength. Preparing a routine for myself ahead of time and sticking to it can make going to the gym less intimidating.

5. Work on time management.

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Time management is the most difficult thing for a college freshman to learn. We go from very structured schedules to having loads of free time around classes. Figuring out how to use that time is slightly overwhelming. Scheduling out blocks of time for designated work and also time for leisure can make using that time in a balanced way more approachable.

6. Stay organized.

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Keeping a planner to keep my day organized, as well as keeping my space organized is imperative to being a successful college student. You know what they say, a cluttered space means a cluttered mind, and we don't have time for a cluttered mind.

7. Make time for my social life.

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No one said successful college students can't have a social life! Last semester, I found it difficult to make friends and rarely went out. This just added to my loneliness and, therefore, my depression. Nourishing your friendships and connecting with other students is more important than you think!

8. Fit in "me" time.

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Everyone knows self care is important, but oftentimes college students get too caught up in the stress and busyness of school that we forget to take care of ourselves until we're completely burnt out. Scheduling some time in once a week or more for some good ol self care can do wonders for the psyche.

9. Read for fun.

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I always miss reading books I want to read when I'm in the throws of the semester. It seems like we have no time, but if we intentionally delegate time for reading, it makes it easier to find the time to do it.

10. Take breaks.

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Taking breaks, whether it be breaking up my study time or going home for a weekend away from school, is a good way to avoid burnout. Giving my mind and body some rest will keep me in tip-top shape so I can do my best work.

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To The Nursing Major During The Hardest Week Of The Year

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

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To the Nursing Major During Finals Week,

I know you're tired, I know you're stressed, and I know you feel like you can't go on. I know that no part of this seems fair, and I know you are by far the biggest critic of yourself. I know that you've thought about giving up. I know that you feel alone. I know that you wonder why in the world you chose one of the hardest college majors, especially on the days it leaves you feeling empty and broken.

But, I also know that you love nursing school. I know your eyes light up when you're with patients, and I know your heart races when you think of graduation. I know that you love the people that you're in school with, like truly, we're-all-in-this-together, family type of love. I know that you look at the older nurses with admiration, just hoping and praying that you will remain that calm and composed one day. I know that every time someone asks what your college major is that you beam with pride as you tell them it's nursing, and I know that your heart skips a beat knowing that you are making a difference.

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that a failed class doesn't mean you aren't meant to do this. I know that a 'C' on a test that you studied so. dang. hard. for does not mean that you are not intelligent. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

I know that nursing school isn't fair. I know you wish it was easier. I know that some days you can't remember why it's worth it. I know you want to go out and have fun. I know that staying up until 1:00 A.M. doing paperwork, only to have to be up and at clinicals before the sun rises is not fair. I know that studying this much only to be failing the class is hard. I know you wish your friends and family understood. I know that this is difficult.

Nursing school isn't glamorous, with the white lab coat and stethoscope. Nursing school is crying, randomly and a lot. Nursing school is exhaustion. Nursing school is drinking so much coffee that you lose track. Nursing school is being so stressed that you can't eat. Nursing school is four cumulative finals jam-packed into one week that is enough to make you go insane.

But, nursing school is worth it. I know that when these assignments are turned in and finals are over, that you will find the motivation to keep going. I know that one good day of making a difference in a patient's life is worth a hundred bad days of nursing school.

Keep hanging in there, nursing majors. It'll all be worth it— this I know, for sure.

So, if you have a nursing major in your life, hug them and tell them that you're proud of them. Nursing school is tough, nursing school is scary, and nursing school is overwhelming; but a simple 'thank-you' from someone we love is all we need to keep going.

Sincerely,

A third-year nursing student who knows

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40 Finals-Week Moods Stressed College Students Have, Every Year From Freshman To Senior

Inside the minds of many during college finals.

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I recorded responses from college students of all grades describing their current state of mind as they prepare for the end of the year. Do you feel the same way? If you can't relate, these are the realities of many during this crunch to the end of the year.

Freshman Year Mood

1. Initial thought when you wake up? "Study"

2. Food Craving? "Chocolate"

3. How many hours do you sleep? "8"

4. How do you relax from studying? "Take a nap"

5. If you could tell your professors anything? "I need more time"

6. What will you do after your last test? "Pack to go home"

7. Study Skills? "Quizlet"

8. Overcoming Mental Breakdown? "Watch a movie"

9. Biggest misconception about finals week? "There is time to go out"

10. What will you look back on about finals week? "Knowing that you don't have to study every minute of the day"

Sophomore Year Mood

1. Initial thought when you wake up? - "What is the weather today"

2. Food Craving? "Breakfast food"

3. How many hours do you sleep? "9"

4. How do you relax from studying? "Sit outside"

5. If you could tell your professors anything? "Please don't make the tests too hard"

6. What will you do after your last test? " Get ready for SUMMER"

7. Study Skills? "rewrite your notes"

8. Overcoming Mental Breakdown? "take a break"

9. Biggest misconception about finals week? "tests are not a hundred questions long"

10. What will you look back on about finals week? "If you time manage you don't have to do all-nighters"

Junior Year Mood

1. Initial thought when you wake up? - "How am I going to get through today"

2. Food Craving? "Candy anything with sugar"

3. How many hours do you sleep? "6"

4. How do you relax from studying? "I don't plug through is the only option"

5. If you could tell your professors anything? "Am I in a circus"

6. What will you do after your last test? " reward myself BIG time"

7. Study Skills? "Don't sleep until you know it"

8. Overcoming Mental Breakdown? "Rely on friends and your Mom"

9. Biggest misconception about finals week? " It is actually my favorite week if you know what you're doing in your classes. You don't have busy work"

10. What will you look back on about finals week? "That I should have studied earlier"

Senior Year Mood

1. Initial thought when you wake up? - " I think about everything I have to do, more importantly I ned to pass my finance class"

2. Food Craving? "Ice Cream"

3. How many hours do you sleep? "4"

4. How do you relax from studying? "I watch an episode of my favorite TV show"

5. If you could tell your professors anything? "Nothing nice"

6. What will you do after your last test? " Go get a drink"

7. Study Skills? "When it comes to formulas, memorization is key... flashcards"

8. Overcoming Mental Breakdown? "You are allowed to have one, but regroup"

9. Biggest misconception about finals week? "You have to spend an equal amount of time for every class to study... If you know it, don't over do it"

10. What will you look back on about finals week? "That I made It through"

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